It is of no surprise to my Midwest folks that all I can think about lately is spring! It has been so stinking cold, we have had so much snow this winter {it is as high as my garden gate!}, the boys and I even got stranded in Rochester because they closed the roads due to snow and winds. We are done! It is time for spring!

So when I was thinking about what I wanted for dinner the other day, all I could think about was this delicious springtime pasta recipe I have. It is light but creamy, it is fresh but hearty. This Pasta Primavera will bring you back to life before nature decides to. Let’s face it…it is not happening anytime soon {enter giant eye roll}.

Now, full disclosure, my recipe calls for asparagus, but my photos do not show it. Why? I am so sorry! Our stupid grocery stores have been out of it for a long time now or when they do have it, it looks like shriveled up twigs. You must put it in there. It makes it so fresh. It is what truly brings spring to this pasta dish. I know I should have waited to make it with asparagus and then post it. But I know that a lot of you are feeling the same way I am and I want you to have this recipe {NOW!}.

You must pay close attention to add the tomatoes at the very end of cooking the chicken and zucchini; and then add the broth and cream cheese right away. Otherwise your tomatoes will get mushy and start to shrivel up into the sauce. It will still taste scrumptious, it will just look funny.

My vegetarian friends, or if you are doing a Meatless Monday: This recipe is {SO STINKIN’} easy to adjust. Just don’t add the chicken! Maybe add a mushroom if you wish. Or a sautéed tofu would go really great with it as well.

 

I hope you are all surviving this cruel winter and I hope that spring comes soon for us all! We need to open our windows and plant our gardens and feel that spring sun on our faces.

 

PASTA PRIMAVERA

 

1 lb. rotini pasta

2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup + 2 Tb. Italian dressing, separated

1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size chunks

2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cups chicken broth

8 oz. cream cheese, cubed

½ cup fresh Parmesan, grated

 

Cook pasta according to package directions.

 

Meanwhile, heat 1/3 cup dressing in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 8 minutes. Add zucchini; cook additional 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked through and zucchini is softened a bit (not mushy!). Add tomatoes; stir in gently to coat. Add broth and cream cheese; stir 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Add Parmesan; mix in gently.

 

Drain pasta; do not rinse. Add pasta to chicken and vegetable mixture; toss gently. Stir in last 2 Tb. of dressing. Let simmer over medium-low heat 2 minutes.

 

Serve immediately otherwise the tomatoes get mushy.